As always, I hate to do this, but I just wanted to put out a brief call for donations, if anyone feels moved to pitch a few coins into the hat. Regular financial support for this site has dwindled down to almost nothing; there is now only one regular subscriber, where once there had been dozens. (Was it something I said?) People do chip in from time to time, and I'm enormously grateful for that. And of course, times are hard all over, and there are needs far greater than mine. (Arthur Silber, for one; don't you dast give anything here without giving there first.) Still, the income once generated by my political writings has essentially disappeared, and one does feel that gap every now and then. So if you've got a few pennies, and you've taken care of your own needs and those of others in...
Here’s a nice piece of work, via Truthdig: Ry Cooder channeling Uncle Dave Macon (a trenchant observer of the high crimes and low comedy of politics in his day) with a new song, “No Banker Left Behind.”
In the last few days, Barack Obama has delivered two “major,” “landmark,” even “historic” speeches, which apparently have “reset” American policy in the Middle East, reaffirmed the overwhelming importance of “the West” (i.e., Britain and America) to the proper functioning of the world, and, we are told, “squarely” put the United States on the side of the dissidents and rebels of the Arab Spring. All of these claims, put forth in reams of earnest analysis and paeans of praise, call to mind the immortal words of Brick Pollitt: “Wouldn’t that be funny if that was true?”
From that place where the inner eye is sharp, and truth's grip is tight -- around your throat.
Can cops now invade your home without a warrant anytime they feel like it? Sure they can. Doesn't this completely and literally eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and specifically requires the use of a warrant? Sure it does. So, was there really any point in having an American Revolution, if we have ended up with a tyranny far more implacable, intrusive, violent and extremist than anything in the wildest dreams of the most retrograde royalist serving King George III? Reckon not.
In honor of Bob Dylan's 70th birthday, here's a reprise of a piece I wrote back when he was just a whippersnapper of 63: There's a legend in my family that we are kin to Uncle Dave Macon. We are for certain distant cousins to the Macons of Wilson County – and Uncle Dave lived in the next county over. My parents met him once, driving to his farm one afternoon when they were teenagers, not yet married. This was not too long before his death. They found him sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch. He greeted the young strangers like the kinfolk one of them might well have been, invited them into the house, showed them his memorabilia, and gave my mother – one of "them pretty girls from Tennessee" he sang about so often – a small, delicate glass deer as a memento of the visit. Back ...
1. Aiding Enlightenment Arthur Silber, one of the great voices of enlightenment in our benighted age, is in the direst of straits, suffering through one of the worst bouts of the chronic ill health that has afflicted him for years. He has not been able to write for many weeks, but has now surfaced, very briefly, to give us the good news that he is still alive, and the bad news that he is suffering mightily, and that one of his beloved companions also needs medical care. If you have any money to spare, please consider making a contribution to Silber's website; it is his only means of support, and of course, donations fall when he is not able to write. The tragedy of seeing such a mind, such a spirt, forced to such perilous margins is painful indeed. Please help if you are able.
The Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas died late last month at the age of 93, having survived persecution and exile at the hands of American client-tyrant Augusto Pinochet. His obituary in the Guardian quoted these apt Rojas lines:I tear out the visionsI tear out my eyes every dayI will not and cannotsee men die each dayI prefer to be of stoneto be in darknessthan to tolerate the disgustof going soft insideof smiling right and leftand getting on with businessUnfortunately, America's bipartisan imperium is still "getting on with business" in Latin America in much the same manner as in Pinochet's day. And yes, this includes the progressive Nobel Peace Laureate (and rootin' tootin' hit man) in the White House.
Why have a million innocent people been killed in Iraq by the cataclysm unleashed by the Anglo-American invasion and occupation? Here's why:
In a world overshadowed by death and domination, life and love go on – at the margins, beneath the radar, far from the madding crowd …